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Motorised steadies for leveling

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    Dan PerkinsParticipant

    I’m getting a little older an I find I longer enjoy cranking the corner steadies up and down the way I used to. And I’m sure  I’m not alone in this.

    Is there anyone that produces motorised steadies or that motorises existing steadies?

    I see there’s a phone app to drive them, and level the caravan at the same time, but nothing (in this country at least) to drive it with.

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    paulgartner
    paulgartner on

    I have 4 ”Purple” brand electric steadies on my Excellence ( Exclusive) and they work fine

    purple.co.za

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    Simon Tasman
    Simon Tasman on

    Do you also use the Kojack wheel lifter?

    I understand the motors by themselves are too weak to raise the caravan significantly.

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    Danie Visagie
    Danie Visagie on

    For interest sake, i think Alko has what you are looking for.

    Btw the purple website address does not work.

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    Dan Perkins
    Dan Perkins on

    Thanks Danie,

    If you read the whole thread you’ll see that quite a few of us have solved this question very adequately, and it doesn’t involve ALKO at all.

    We’ve taken the local route, we’ve sourced the motors locally, we’ve DIYed the motors onto our steadies, and we use the local control system. All of which works smoothly and is perfectly maintainable right here in this very country.

    Not only do we have a totally local solution for motorised leveling (and from sitting inside the caravan), they’ve now added a full security system that sends SMSs to wherever you are, and it also monitors our water tank depletion. All on the same unit.

    I won’t say the motors are particularly cheap, but they are strong as mother russia and the quality is superb. We had a bit of  a learning curve but we helped each other and now we can fix our own stuff and we need nothing from any other country.

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    Simon Tasman
    Simon Tasman on

    Exactly right.

    The local solution discussed extensively in this thread is the only one of any practical value, in my opinion. The motors produce up to 40Nm of torgue, which is way more than any drill will ever give you, and is sufficient for a single motor to lift my caravan’s nose (weight 110kg) clear off the ground.

    The motors together have enough power to level the vehicle under any circumstances without actually lifting it off the ground (something the steadies are manifestly not designed to do, ever). And because the spirit level is built into the phone app, you do this with the phone flat on the table from inside the caravan, which is what we wanted all along.

    I’ve even seen a video of a system where you’re supposed to squat next to the the steady and push the buttons. How useless is that?

    I understand that the ALKO system was bought in by them when they bought a hydraulic system (that’s is hugely expensive) manufacturer, and never really worked. Hence they don’t sell it here or in Europe any more.

     

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    Dan Perkins
    Dan Perkins on

    Because I didn’t have much confidence in my ability I initially bought just one motor, thinking that if I didn’t succeed with this I could always sell it, or maybe use it somewhere else eventually.  I also put my name down with Dactyl for a controller, which sometimes has a bit of a delivery delay. I followed the tutorial on their website and that saved making lots of stupid mistakes and buying lots of tools I didn’t need.

    Then, when the first worked out OK I bought another one motor per month to stagger the cost and also give me lots of time to learn to do the conversions without being pressured. By the time I finished the 4th steady I’d learned a lot about how to do this job, and I went back to No 1 to make it a bit better. You can test the motors with heavy duty switches while you’re waiting for your controller to arrive.

    Now the whole job is done and working for a few months already and without any major financial pain since I staggered it. Of course the accountant in me knows exactly how much money I spent, but when I see that I could have spent even more on some flimsy useless junk from Germany I’m very happy, and quite proud of my workmanship.

     

     

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    Johan Wessels
    Johan Wessels on

    This has always been an issue for many people especially trying to get the caravan level let alone steady. Personally I finally decided to take the easy route and have been using a cordless drill with the right attachment to operate the corner steadies for over 15 years now.

    I have developed my own technique as follows.

    Once the caravan is in the position you want it;-

    1 Get the caravan level – side to side (with the aid of a small spirit level) by using purpose made planks about 3 cm thick and wide enough for a wheel to fit on and about 30cm long. I have four such planks (thus giving me various rights) which are easy to stow away when not in use. I either pull or push the caravan using the vehicle whilst still attached to the caravan or using the caravan mover to drive the van onto as many planks as required to get the van level from side to side.

    2 Once levelled side to side (and vehicle detached from the van ) I lower the front of the van using the jockey wheel so that the van is just off the level front to back but slightly sloping forward.

    3 Lower the two rear corner steadies using the cordless drill (very quick and effortless) till the steadies are firmly on the ground without “jacking ” the van up (again I use purpose made planks for the steadies to rest on giving a better base to support )

    4 I use the jockey wheel to now raise the front till the van is level front to back. Since the position was only slightly sloping forward it does not require a lot of lifting with the jokey wheel. Once levelled, lower the two front steadies with the purpose made planks, till they both are firmly grounded without “jacking up the van” I then release the pressure of the jokey wheel by winding it up slightly.

    When ready to leave the site I do the above in reverse.

    5 By this time my wife has connected the power, the kettle is on and coffee is ready. (ok sometimes a cold beer is waiting for me.)

    I did consider getting the auto levellers but after fitting the caravan movers I decided it was not necessary  The option at the time I was looking at can be found at:-   http://www.purplesa.co.za

    The movers I purchased also came from them and I have had them on for 9 years now and they are still functioning perfectly and to date no problems. Even though I was 63 at the time I was able to fit them myself.

    Hope that was of some help

    Regards

    Johan

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    Johan Wessels
    Johan Wessels on

    I think that should read  purplesa.co.za

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